Becoming a Rotaractor is often said to be the best decision a young person can make, but there’s no Rotaractor without a Rotaract club! You’re brimming with enthusiasm to spread the Rotaract magic within your local area, but you’re faced with the question of… Where do you begin?
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Know your audience
The first stage of any club formation is to gather a nucleus of interested individuals.
Each community is different and as such has different needs. You may be within a bustling city full of youth groups, youth initiatives, or universities.
You may be in a quieter rural area with underserved or simply bored youth.
The approach determines the outcome and make-up of the club, its first projects and its mission statement.
Sourcing the initial group will always be the toughest part. Some methods to identify individuals can be to advertise on social media within local community groups, approach universities / colleges, approach previous Rotary youth participants (RYLA, youth competitions, Interactors) or simply tap into your club’s existing network of people.
The key part around approaching young people is to use the correct language and not operate on a “hard sell basis”. Instead of preaching about what Rotaract represents and what it can offer, start with the simple concept of getting involved in a fun community project and making friends.
Identify a leader
You’ve gathered your nucleus, now what?
A group needs a young leader to drive it forward to establish deeper unity across the group, keep the momentum going and be a point of contact for any assistance.
This doesn’t have to be a single person at this stage, but any individuals who are motivated and enthusiastic enough to maintain the solidity of the group.
A Rotarian’s communication with the leader here is vital. They do not need to understand the ins and outs of being a club president or be overwhelmed by responsibility.
They should be given the freedom to drive it themselves, knowing that support is just around the corner if it is needed.
At this stage, the national Rotaract team or Rotaractors within your district will be available to help support the leader to learn more about what Rotaract is.
Forming a club
After a few successful projects, more members joining and a solid base within the group, the question of officially chartering as a club may be floating around.
It’s important to remember that Rotaract clubs are not Rotary clubs and as such will always operate in a different way.
Attempting to push roles, committees, and annual projects onto a group may drive them away or quash enthusiasm.
A group is ready to form into a club when it is at a stage where it can sustain itself with a healthy membership base and strong leadership. If the group doesn’t feel ready to take the leap into becoming a club, that’s perfectly fine.
We recommend Rotaract clubs charter with a membership of 10-15 members and a few projects under their belt.
The national team or your district Rotaract representative is available to assist and guide you through any stage as you embark on your journey to start a